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Third International Lecture Series on Sustainable Sanitation Print E-mail

The 3rd International Lecture Series and Dialogue Forum on Sustainable Sanitation with the Theme: “Sustainable Water and Nutrient Management” is being organized and scheduled on 15 November 2010, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Rooms, 23rd Floor, World Bank Office, Taipan Place, F. Ortigas Jr. Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.  


The speakers are Ms. Anna Richert from the Stockholm Environment Institute and Mr. Robert Gensch from Xavier University.  The topics for presentation are hoped to spur and facilitate further discussions towards achieving a national guideline allowing the use of urine as an alternative liquid fertilizer in small-scale agriculture. 


The Center for Advanced Philippine Studies (CAPS), along with the Philippine Ecosan Network, is the leading advocate of Ecological Sanitation that promotes food security though the safe and productive reuse of plant nutrients found in human generated waste. 


Please find the (i) corresponding  flyer &  brochure, (ii) registration form (Day1 Registration Form and Day2-3 Registration Form) for the activity and (iii) LocationMap. Moreover, a 2-day training workshop on urine reuse will follow the Lecture in Cagayan De Oro.  Should you and/or your staff be interested in attending the workshop, please refer to the logistical details in the attached brochure and fill up its corresponding registration form. 


We look forward to your participation.  Thank you!  
2nd International Lecture Series on Sustainable Sanitation: “Peak Phosphorous and its Alternative” Print E-mail


The 2nd International Lecture Series on Sustainable Sanitation with the Theme: “Peak Phosphorous and its Alternative” was held on October 15, 2010 from 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm at the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Rooms, 23rd Floor, World Bank Office, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.


One of the important topics tackled in the lecture is Peak Phosphorous. The discussion emphasized the emerging issue that global supply of rock phosphate used for production of phosphorus(P) fertilizers has peaked and has started to decline. The term peak phosphorus has been applied to the situation that phosphorus, the first nonrenewable, nonsubstitutable life supporting element, will become scarce in the foreseeable future ‐‐ a scenario similar with our primary sources of energy that is derived from fossil fuels. Phosphorus is a vital nutrient for all plants and animals. We get this nutrient through the food we eat, which in turn has been fertilized by mineral or organic phosphorus fertilizers. But the issue on where the phosphorus in our food comes from and how sustainable that source would be in the long term, is often left unattended and not being given significant attention.


This concern will be of great importance to all of us as it deals with food security. It is directly related to sustainability of the fertilizer industry worldwide. Phosphate rock, like oil, is a nonrenewable resource that is naturally produced in a cycle time of 1015 million years. To note, there are only just 5 countries that control around 90% of the world’s remaining phosphate rock reserves, including China, the US and Morocco (which also controls Western Sahara’s reserves).


Recent studies also suggest that current highgrade reserves will be depleted within 50100 years. While the exact timing might still be disputed, it is widely accepted that the quality of phosphate rock is decreasing and the costs increasing. In mid 2008 the price of phosphate rock reached a peak 800% higher than early 2007. The phosphorus situation has many similarities with oil, yet unlike oil, there is no substitute for phosphorus in food production. China has recently stopped or drastically reduced its exports of Phosphorus to the world market. It cannot be manufactured, though fortunately it can be recovered from human generated wastes and reused over and over again

Click here to view or download a copy of the presentation slides.




General Assembly declares access to clean water and sanitation is a human right Print E-mail

28 July 2010 – Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the General Assembly declared today, voicing deep concern that almost 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water.


The 192-member Assembly also called on United Nations Member States and international organizations to offer funding, technology and other resources to help poorer countries scale up their efforts to provide clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for everyone.  


The Assembly resolution received 122 votes in favour and zero votes against, while 41 countries abstained from voting. 

The text of the resolution expresses deep concern that an estimated 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and a total of more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. Studies also indicate about 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases. 


Today’s resolution also welcomes the UN Human Rights Council’s request that Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, report annually to the General Assembly as well. 

PEN Is Formalized! Print E-mail


PEN Is Formalized!

By: Lilia GC. Casanova, CAPS


Over the last six years, PEN has been on a long and wide, uncharted waterway. It was like a finite wave bobbing from crest to crest and bouncing back as it reaches shore. So, what is PEN?  Who are we as members of PEN? What do we do as PEN? Why do we do what we do? And what do we want PEN to be known for?  -  were the questions that PEN members dissected and sought answers to during its Strategic Planning Workshop from 19-21 May 2010 at the Taal Vista Lodge in Tagaytay City. Finally, after three days of tumultuous but friendly, objective discussions in the course of soul-searching and self-discovery, PEN surfaced as an entity with a clear purpose. Members began to see PEN mutating from an ambiguous ‘paramecium-like'organism (to quote Boni) into a latent ‘development machine' with brain and care power, bursting at the seams with ideas and raring to participate inrealizing the vision of a clean and safe Philippines with toilets in every home. 

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